Spiders are an important part of our food chain getting rid of nasty insects and being food themselves for birds and other animals, so it is important NOT to go around killing any spider that you see. The majority are quite harmless and pose no threat to you if you leave them alone. However, many people are very frightened by spiders and don’t want them in their homes, so I have done some Googling to find ways people have found to remove or repel spiders from their homes. I DON’T GIVE ANY GUARANTEES THAT THESE WILL WORK, THEY ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS TO TRY AND TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY RESULTS!!!
There are many commercial spider sprays but often the chemicals in them are more dangerous to humans and the environment than the spiders so I won’t include them on here. Try them if you must but first give these suggestions a try. I don’t recommend “smashing” spiders either as that is cruel and unnecessary. Here we go:
To Relocate a Spider:
Moving most spiders to a new location (outside the house?) is not difficult. You will need the following: – a clear glass or cup; it should be clear so you can see where the spider is. – a card, or stiff piece of paper
(1) Carefully place the cup over the spider (careful not to pin the legs under the rim of the cup).
(2) Gently and slowly slide the paper under the glass; as you push the paper under the glass, let the spider walk up onto the paper.
(3) Once the paper is completely underneath the cup, gently pick up the paper and glass, making sure not to create gaps between the paper and glass (the spider might escape, which means you have to start all over again… 🙂 ).
(4) Turn the glass over while keeping the glass covered with the paper.
(5) Take the spider to the new location, while holding the paper over the glass.
(5a) This is a good time to look at your spider, examine its markings, and learn about it.
(6) Place the glass on its side on the ground and remove the paper. The spider will walk out of the glass in a few moments. If it seems reluctant to exit the glass, gently tilt the opening the glass toward the ground, and gently shake. The spider will eventually wander out. 🙂
You can also try putting the container in front of the spider if its in a web and touching it from behind with the lid. The spider will move away from the perceived source of danger and into your container.
Don’t try moving a spider with a glass bottle since the top opening is too small. There may be some jars or glass bottles with wide tops that would work, but glass cups are easiest to find when you come across a spider that needs to be moved.
Readers Suggestions for spider removal:
From Chet: Hello I have had leukaemia and I don’t like to use pesticides. I have tried everything. Lemon eucalyptus oil the leaves. Nothing has worked I have tried everything natural and pesticides as well even tho I was against them. So I finally got some diatomaceous earth food grade I took my kirby vacuum blew the powder in the attic, put it in every crack I could find all along basement walls front of doors along walls and with in 30 to 60 days I have not seen any spider at all!! I see dead crickets that cross it and a few dead wolf spiders. But by far this has worked great. It kills anything with the exoskeleton. It dehydrates them by cutting them. This is by far the best thing I have used. U can put a little in your dog’s hair – fleas are gone, sprinkle in your carpet, fleas will be gone within a week. It’s totally harmless, you can even drink it with water like some health nuts do. But be careful as you spread it or use something to blow it keep the dust down. Please read about it. It’s like tiny razor blades that cut them and then dehydrates them. I put mine down, think it truly is the best. For ants in the kitchen my girlfriend wiped it off along my counter within hours the counter was crawling with them. So I put it down again within a hr they were gone. Please try it, this is the honest to god’s truth. Nothing kept them ants out. But this did. I have tried everything for 15 years and nothing even comes close to this. I have used the best pesticides and natural oils. This is natural and cheap – a 50lb bag of food grade diatomaceous earth on ebay was under 50 bucks and I have 45 lbs left. Sprinkle in your yard along foundation. If it rains just redo it. Hope this helps Chet
From Trish: I have found that if you take 2 cups of vinegar and 1 tspn of coconut oil (must be pure) mix it in a spray bottle and spray around windows and doors you will be spider free. The vinegar smell dissipates rather quickly, a lot quicker than moth balls. Can be used inside or out and is safe and non-toxic for kids and pets.
Another way to relocate a spider from Robert:
I found your web site after searching Google for spider control. We have a rather large (ca. 2-inch) spider building a web near our front door, and I have plans to remove it from the premises. We also have plenty of house spiders in our basement, mostly females.
I’ve had success using a clear plastic food storage container and a thin piece of cardboard, first by placing the container over the spider and then sliding the cardboard underneath, letting the spider run onto the cardboard, and relocating, as you described. But there are cases where the spider will be in its web or in a corner and this method is rather difficult to use.. In these instances, the spider will naturally flee to its hiding place, which is typically towards the vertical wall structure supporting its web when its web is being ruined.
Here, I prefer also using a pencil technique that should be done in one fluid motion: with the pencil point facing the spider, quickly move the pencil next to the spider, between the spider and its closest web support. This is typically the floor or wall upon which its web is built. Then quickly “wrap” the spider in its web by encircling it with the pencil once or twice. Lift the pencil over your empty container and tap the pencil against the side or just let the spider fall down into the container. (If the spider is young, it may not attach a drag line to fall down into the container, so you’ll need to tap it off the pencil.) Cover the container with your piece of stiff stock paper or cardboard, and drop it off outside, at least a few feet from the house. Reuse the pencil, as it will acquire web residue that will give you a larger time frame to get the spider into the container next time. If the spider is large, you can use a broomstick instead of a pencil. If you want to really make sure it doesn’t come back to its former location, place it in a bush or near a plant further away, where it might build another web.
My main motivation for relocating spiders rather than killing them is not that they are part of the food chain, but that it is simply wrong to murder. It is generally unnecessary to kill spiders, for you would need only a minute of time and a modicum of patience to relocate them instead. -Robert
From Tami: We have window wells for our basement that collect a lot of spiders including black widows. We toss crushed or whole mothballs into the bottom and it will drive them out and keep them out until the odour disappears.
From Kathy: One of the things we recommend at the Pest Control Company I work for is to
change the exterior lighting on the building. Spiders are smart and know that other bugs are attracted to lights. They will hunt and build webs in these areas. Try to limit unnecessary exterior lighting to reduce the population so close to the home.
From Dawn from San Diego California: I had read mint worked and I had a particular cabinet drawer in my kitchen that always seemed to have spiders in it. I took a sprig of mint I had dried and put it in the back of the drawer. After that I didn’t have any spiders in that particular drawer. Thank you for you web site.
Before trying to get rid of them take a few steps to prevent them coming in the first place!!
1. Excess vegetation against the home:
Tall grass right up against the house and overhanging trees will harbour insects and attract spiders. Keep your property maintained. Weeds should be kept mowed and garden beds should n’t be right up against the foundation.
2. Open water near your home:
Open water on the property provides a breeding source for many insects, including mosquitoes and midges, which in turn attracts spiders. Homes built right near a lake are prime candidates for spider infestations. Houses next to open fields are also common sites of spider infestations. In these areas winds carry spiderlings into the area, where they end up on the sides of the house. Once spiders build up outdoors on structures, they naturally filter indoors through cracks and crevices around windows, doors, attics, and crawls spaces.
3. Gaps around windows, doors, and unscreened vents:
Large gaps in siding, unsealed openings around pipe penetrations, unscreened vents and windows will allow spiders to enter the home. A tube of silicone will do wonders for pest prevention. If you can keep them out you don’t need to use other methods.
4. Over use of chemical fertilizers:
Avoid using chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc., on your property. Excess nitrogen attracts many insects, such as aphids. The stress attracts insects, which in turn attracts the spiders. Once spiders over flow on your property, they will naturally over flow into your home.
5. Over use of pesticides:
Broad spectrum pesticides may kill off beneficial insects and, without the good guys to control them pest populations may explode. Pesticide applications in time also kill off beneficial bacteria which in turn causes stress in the plants. All stressed plants attract insects. Indoor plants that are stressed will especially attract insects, and spiders.
6. Readily available supply of food and water:
Spiders are opportunists and are attracted to areas where food (insects) and moisture are abundant. Eliminate insect breeding areas, reduce moisture, repair leaking pipes, and free standing moisture on your property.
(Ideas by Rocco Moschetti, IPM of Alaska)
- Try chestnuts. People have recommended placing chestnuts in their walls, on window sills and under sliding doors. Of course you need to live where chestnuts are available!!
- Get a package of pipe or chewing tobacco, soak it in a gallon of boiling water until it cools. Strain the liquid into a clean container. Put a cup of tobacco juice and 1/2 cup lemon dish soap into a hose-end sprayer and spray. This one sounds like a better use for tobacco than smoking it but don’t know what it would smell like!!
- Dust your windowsills and door frames with Lemon Pledge. Spiders apparently don’t like the taste of it.
- Try an electronic bug device. These are supposed to rid your home of many creepy crawlies. Make sure you get one specifically for spiders and take care if you have pet mice or guinea pigs, pet spiders or snakes as they will be affected too.
- I have often seen horse apples recommended. They are the fruit from the bois d’arc tree or also known as osage orange tree. Quarter the apples and place one quarter in each corner of a room. The spiders are supposed to just disappear. However more research came up with this information:
“The story that the fruit of the Osage orange tree (also called hedge apple, monkey ball, or spider ball) can repel or ward off spiders turns out to be extremely widespread in Midwestern states, where the trees are common. Details vary, but in general it seems that people put these aromatic fruits around their walls in fall to “keep spiders from coming in.” Since house spiders don’t actually come in from outside, of course this works just fine, but there is no evidence that spiders are repelled by osage-oranges. They live on the trees and even make webs on the fallen fruit. What’s more, spiders seldom show any sign of being able to detect airborne odors! In some versions of the story, the repellent effect has been transferred from spiders to cockroaches, mosquitoes, chicken mites, or mice. Since squirrels regularly chew through these fruits to get the tasty seeds inside, a rodent repellent effect seems pretty unlikely. In the Pacific Northwest, where Osage oranges are seldom seen, the legend has been transferred to horse chestnuts. I like horse chestnuts and usually have some around, but still have plenty of spiders, so I know of my own experience that this doesn’t work. A correspondent in British Columbia has heard a version of the myth in which the spiders are repelled by copper pennies!” The Spider Myths Site
- I found a couple of natural sprays so will mention them.
Victor brand of spray in an aerosal can contains mint oil and a little bit of detergent.
Another one called Spider Away contains scent of chestnut and cloves.
- I found a Cobweb Eliminator which may help keep the cobwebs down. Of course a good broom will do the same thing.
7. A natural spray to make yourself –
Peppermint, Lavender or any natural soap.
1 ounce of Neem Oil
1 to 5 drops of any Essential Plant Oils to 1 Quart of water – Lavender Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Peppermint Oil, Citrus Oil, Tea Tree Oil, or other essential oils.
Add 5 tablespoons of the soap per quart water. Add one ounce of the Neem oil to the water which you have added the soap and label it. Shake well and spray inside house where spiders are seen. Test for strength. May be done as often as needed. This is not a long term solution but will provide you immediate help. Oils may stain some fabrics or light coloured furnishings, test first.
Spray outside the house: Use the same formula to spray the foundation, eaves and soffits, and the areas around doors, windows and crawls space, or attic vents, or any area where you see spiders congregating. You can also use any citrus based cleaner like Citra Solv at 1 oz per quart water. Spray around the outside of the house or where spiders congregate.
(Recipe by Rocco Moschetti, IPM of Alaska)
Please send any ideas to me and I’ll include them here.